Glenn Beck’s rally over the weekend confused a lot of people, especially his usual critics. Where was all the tea party rhetoric and hatred? What were all those people doing praying and praising America for three hours? What was he doing giving an award to Alberto Pujols, and what was MLK’s niece doing there? This article argues that the rally is part of a long-term plan to change the political game entirely.
Beck is creating positive themes of unity and patriotism and freedom and independence which are above mere political or policy choices, but not irrelevant to them. Political and policy choices rest on a foundation of philosophy, culture, self-image, ideals, religion. Change the foundation, and the rest will flow from that. Defeat the enemy on that plane, and any merely tactical defeat will always be reversible.
The author’s point is that the foundational themes of the left are currently dominating public discourse. Just one example: gay marriage was unthinkable 15 years ago, but the left (broadly speaking) has changed the public perception of gays through shows like “Will and Grace” and all the sudden a lot of people start thinking, “well, who cares if two gay guys want to get married?” Al Gore has tried to do this with global warming. One of the underlying themes of many progressives is that there should be no real limits to governmental control over personal property (especially ironic given that the income tax didn’t exist 100 years ago).
So, if you change the foundational discussion, politics will follow. The author’s argument is that Beck is trying to change the foundational discussion back to: traditional morality, God, Constitutional protections of personal freedom vs. communitarian views of property, respect for the military.
Seen from this perspective, the Beck rally makes sense. You could argue that Beck is not really that smart, and I would agree he has said some incredibly stupid things. So it is of course possible that Beck has stumbled onto this particular strategy out of pure dumb luck. Or it is also possible that there is no strategy at all and he is just fumbling along, doing whatever occurs to his ADD-addled mind at the time. What do you think?
(Could I request that comments deal with the “secret plan” aspect? We already know most of you hate Glenn Beck. You don’t need to prove your “I hate Glenn Beck” bona fides here. Please keep comments focused on the subject of this post, which is, “is there a secret plan or no?”)